Deadlock is based on the fifth volume of ‘Isolation’ (Die Ka lte 1981), the autobiography of Austrian author Thomas Bernhard. Bernhard, who aspired to be a musician, suffers from a severe pneumonia and is committed in a sanatorium. The text describes how he copes with his illness, and his fight against the authorities which forced him to act like everybody else and eventually to stay ill.
The painted canvas in the work is inspired by the imagery features in the novel (the hospital, empty jars and labs) along with images that are taken from contemporary interior. The projected video is presenting the narrative and preformed by a dancer who is moving between different elements on the canvas and is bringing them to life. The fragments of sound included in the work are sampled from The Creation (Die Schöpfung 1797) composed by Joseph Haydn, mixed with recorded sounds.
This hybrid of mediums (painting, video, sound and dance) point out aspects and thoughts in regards to systematic structures as hospitals, politics, and bureaucratic institutes as oppose to life itself.
Thomas Bernhard was well known in his fight against hegemonic structures in Austria. In his plays he continually dealt with the notions of isolation and self-destruction. Deadlock is relating to that notion of isolation, where it seems that the individual is trapped in a hopeless position, but is managing to transform and being emancipated eventually.
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